Energy customers have missed out on an estimated £5.1 million in compensation from energy network operators over the last three years.
That’s according to a new report from Citizens Advice, which says many customers don’t know they qualify for compensation, forget to claim or miss the application deadline.
Energy network operators are required to meet 39 guaranteed standards of service set by the regulator Ofgem, such as emergency response, complaints procedures and the speed of reconnection after bad weather.
When companies fail to meet these obligations customers are entitled to compensation – electricity network companies paid out just under £5.4 million in compensation in the last three years, with a further £2.5 million left unclaimed by consumers.
Gas networks refunded more than £11 million in compulsory and voluntary compensation payments but Citizens Advice says consumers would have received £2.6 million more if all payments were compulsory.
Citizens Advice has urged Ofgem to implement automatic compensation across all standards and introduce financial penalties for poor performance.
Gillian Guy, CEO of Citizens Advice, said: “This money should be in customers’ pockets. We want Ofgem to get tougher with the energy network companies so that customers automatically receive all the compensation they’re entitled to.
“Guaranteed standards should mean guaranteed compensation. At the very least there should be a system of financial penalties for those energy firms who still don’t proactively pay people what they’re due.”